Torrefaction and Biocoal

Torrefied biomass, also referred to as “biocoal” or “black pellets” may be relatively new, but torrefaction technology has been around for a very long time. In fact, whole coffee beans are torrefied – roasted in the absence of air at a very high temperature – so they can be ground into coffee.

During torrefaction, the biomass is dried and heated (in the absence of air) above 200° and below 320° Celsius for less than 30 minutes. Properly torrefied biomass is espresso colored and easily grindable. HM3 Energy densifies the ground torrefied biomass without the use of binders into water resistant briquettes that can be stored and transported without cover, making them an excellent product for export.

HM3 Energy TorrB® briquettes have an energy value of approximately 10,000 BTU per pound, very comparable to western (Powder River Basin) coal, but without the toxic mercury, and high sulfur and nitrous oxide emissions of coal. HM3’s technology can be used to produce biocoal from low-value forest waste resulting from forest restoration efforts. More than 80 million acres of national forests are in need of restoration after a century of fire suppression.

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